Let us argue!!

My article on http://indianlibertarians.org/2013/09/29/let-us-argue/

Arguments are essential to the foundation to economic reasoning and thought. Arguments are the building blocks for us to construct and reconstruct the society. Arguments are what we’ll use to diagnose phenomenon, describe a phenomenon, extract truth, rationalize our actions, justify actions to validate if they are ethical and moral and falsify philosophical as well as ideological beliefs. Arguing and arguments are studied under logic, economics and philosophy. Arguments are necessary for scientific reasoning. Critical thinking involves arguments. No intellectual realization and even instigation of the intellect can be achieved without arguments. Arguments will clearly point out agreements, disagreements and intentional ignoring which takes place between more than one individuals or groups. Argumentation is the reason for the orderly soundness we see in society and the disorder resulting due to lack of it or improper argumentation.
What are arguments?

Arguments are made in natural language. An argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, by giving logical reasons for accepting a particular conclusion as evident.

Argument is defined as a group of statements, in which some of them (the premises) are intended to support another statement (the conclusion). A premise is an assumption that something is true. A premise is basically a statement. In logic, an argument requires a set of (at least) two declarative sentences (or “propositions”) known as the premises along with another declarative sentence (or “proposition”) known as the conclusion.

Propositions are truth statements or the primary bearers of truth-value.

For example:

Socrates is a Man

All men are mortal
Types of Logical Arguments

There are two important types of Logical arguments: Deductive and Inductive or a priori and a posteriori.

A deductive argument:

Most Austrian Economists and Praxeologist use a priori or deductive reasoning for their arguments. A deductive argument is an argument whose conclusion necessarily follows from the truth of the premises. It follows a top-down approach. A deductive argument is “valid” if it is successful in providing logical support for its conclusion. A “valid” deductive argument is such that if all its premises are true, it is guaranteed that the conclusion must be true. This means, that if all premises are true, there is no possible way that the conclusion could be false. We say that a deductive statement is “invalid” if the truth of the premises does not guarantee that the conclusion must be true.

Note that while using logic “valid” is not a synonym for true. It simply refers to the fact that the argument is correctly constructed or that it has the necessary logical structure.
Examples of simple deductive arguments:
A logically valid statement

Premise 1: All politicians are liars.

Premise 2: Ram is a politician.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that Ram is a liar.

Premise 1: All men are mortal

Premise 2: I am a man

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that I am mortal

Here you can see that the conclusion follows directly from the premises.
A logically invalid statement

Premise 1: All politicians are liars.

Premise 2: All car salesmen are liars.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that all politicians are car salesmen.

Here you can see that the conclusion doesn’t logically follow the premises and thus the attempt to deduct a proper conclusion fails even when the premises are true.

An Inductive argument:

Inductive arguments are based on proofs. Inductive argument is reasoning in which the premises seek to supply strong evidence for (not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion. While the conclusion of a deductive argument is supposed to be certain, the truth of an inductive argument is supposed to be probable, based upon the evidence given. In other words an inductive argument is an argument that is intended to provide “probabilistic support” for its conclusion, but not logically conclusive support for its conclusion. An inductive argument is such that is all true the conclusion is possibly true or more likely to be true but not necessarily to be true.

The argumentative structure of an inductively strong argument doesn’t guarantee that if all the premises are true, the conclusion must necessarily be true. However if the conclusion is highly probable then it should be generally accepted. An inductively strong argument with true premises is said to be cogent.
Examples of Inductive Arguments

Premise 1: Most dogs have fleas.

Premise 2: Tommy is a dog.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that Tommy probably has fleas.

Strong Inductive Argument:

Premise 1: 100% of biological life forms need liquid water to survive

Premise 2: All life forms is a biological life form.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that, life forms probably needs liquid form of water to survive.

This argument could have been made every time a new biological life form was found, and would have been correct every time; this does not mean it is impossible that in the future a biological life form that does not require water could be discovered.
Weak Inductive argument

Premise 1: 98% people are taller than 4 feets

Premise 2: Ram is a person

Conclusion: Therefore, Ram is probably taller than 4 feets

Here we cannot be sure if Ram is part of 98% or 2% and if his height is more than 4 feets or not.

A deductive argument must have true premises. A sound argument is a good argument which gives you good reasons for accepting its conclusion.

Deductively valid but false argument

Premise 1: All pigs can fly.

Premise 2: Popo is a pig.

Conclusion: Therefore it follows that Popo can fly.

Deductively valid arguments can have true or false premises and true of false conclusions.

They can have:

False Premises and a false conclusion
False Premises and a true conclusion
True Premises and a true conclusion

There is no sliding scale for deductive arguments. They are either true or false

Inductive arguments are probabilistic and thus they can be scaled. Inductive arguments conclusion can be scaled in terms of very unlikely, unlikely, possible, probable, likely and highly likely.

How to tactfully argue?

I will take the help of Paul Graham’s Hierarchy of Disagreement to show different type of arguments starting from the lowest point.
Name-calling

Name calling is the lowest form of argument.

Person A is stupid, You’re an idiot.. no you’re and idiot etc

are examples of name calling arguments. These are weak arguments and engaging in such argumentsare fruitless with respect to truth finding.
Ad Hominen

An ad hominem attack is not quite as weak as mere name-calling. It might actually carry some weight.

For example a remark like this “Of course he is arrogant he is rich that’s why”, “Boss prefers her because she is a woman” etc

would be ad hominem arguments. Mostly ad hominent statements are made to appeal feelings and prejudice. These arguments are also fruitless and better to be avoided.
Responding to Tone

The entire focus in such argument moves away from the content to the “tone” of the argument.

For example “How dare you”, “I can’t believe how you could reject my proposal” etc

are the stimuli gesturing a non neutral tone. Such arguments will shift the focus from the content to counter reactions like “mind your tongue” and “mind your language” type of responses. Again in such type of arguments it’s better to focus on the content and logically question them rather than attacking the tone.
Contradiction

In such arguments a statement will be made in contradiction to point without any evidence or little evidence. But this is also the state where you start getting answers which are not based on who and whoms.

The most controversial claims are contradictory in nature. Our society is full of such contradictory ideological beliefs. An example of an contradictory statement can be “there is no such thing as a falsehood; a man must either say what is true or say nothing” or “How can you argue for vegetarianism when you wear leather shoes?” or “I never meant that”

Contradictory statements are easily recognized to be contradictory in content or a contradicting shift it ones stand. Contradictions are easily falsified as their premises are contradictory.
Counterargument

These are the arguments where we get logical disagreements. Counterarguments are done against a flaw in our own arguments. This is meaningful while arguing and serves a purpose. Counterargument is contradiction plus reasoning and/or evidence. When aimed squarely at the original argument, it can be convincing. Most of the time counterarguments are used to deviate from the point and hijack the discussion altogether. One should take care of such attempts of deviating from the topic .
Refutation

The most convincing form of disagreement is refutation. Here you will break up the premises and falsify them. A legitimate logic refutation of the fallacies of argument deducts the irrelevant and makes it easier to reach conclusions. A refutation may be partial refutation of the argument.
Refuting the Central Point

Every argument has a central point. Most arrived conclusions are the central points of the argument. A logical refutation of the central point itself is the most forceful. Refutation of the central point is a true refutation.

For example:

The arguer’s main point seems to be x. As he says:

But this is wrong for the following reasons…

Arguments are required for critical thinking and reasoning. An argument helps to discipline thinking with regards to evaluate information and evaluate your own thoughts. Arguments will help you to create your own effective solutions to various problems in life. Arguments will help you to properly diagnose different happenings in society. Arguments will help you to pinpoint and minimize biasing influence from culture and upbringing. It will help you to be guided by knowledge and evidence that explains the truth even if it refutes your cherish beliefs.

Unlike the Austrian School of Economic thought other schools of thoughts do not stick to deductive reasoning or a priori reasoning. They rely on inductive reasoning and rely mostly on empirical date, co-relations statistical data. This leaves room for biases and untrue ideas to be mistaken for truth. One must also be careful with deductive reasoning to ensure that the premises are true and the conclusion logical follows the premises. Deductive reasoning thus leaves little scope for error and the conclusions can be easily accepted to be the truth. The more we move away from the truth and arrive at rash conclusions, mystification, reluctant to question ideas or authority or tradition; we’ll end up with messed up society which will get more complicated to resolve in later stages for us.

Let us argue and create intellectual independent individuals for a better world.

Boston Bombing and the blame on Islam

First and foremost let me put forth that I condemn all forms of aggression, violence and use of force except for just reasons like self defense. I find anti islamic updates pasted all over my Facebook newsfeed as well as in the main media which is full of posts like the one here.

Of course now one of the religion and the followers of that religion will be blamed, hated and socially outcast… Every now and then they will be hurled by racial, sick and derogatory remarks. And most will claim themselves to be irreligious or atheist  or agnostic… until… you start questioning theirs.

After lot of questioning myself, reasoning and closely interacting with the religious bigots and the anti-religious/agnostic/atheist retards.. I can safely say that the religious and religion has not much to contribute to the violent episodes that takes place in human society. It might be that mostly these violence takes place under the excuse of religion.

The birth and existence of all religion is a natural social phenomena. It is a product coming out of the social cooperation of many individuals and the behavior of us as human. In the ancient era early religions used to be philosophical in nature. Man in those days used to look up only to religion for answers as well as explanation about the workings of the physical. spiritual as well as the mystical world. Religion also used to philosophize and tried to figure out answers to mans every question. Let me also point out that in those days the field of science had not advanced nor was developed  as we see it currently. Scientific methodology and explanation plays a critical role in our lives these days but we must also account that the average man has average knowledge on matter of science. To make matters worst for the average man; science is a specialized subject and thus it is not easy for those who are not specialized in it to interpret all the scientific theories and research correctly. Also human beings are not machines nor mathematical model which science can explain and figure out completely. Science can explain that what happens in the brain while meditating or why are humans religious in nature; but it can never derive laws which will hold true for every mans behavior.

Most religion now a days are no more philosophical or scientific in nature. Religion has become a cult. For long time now, religion has been nothing more than ritualistic practices and parroting ancient thoughts.  Thus the old religion which used to be philosophical in nature is dead in this age.

Religion and scientific point of views and methodology to explain various subjects differ vastly. For example if man goes out to seek answer on “why some people are rich and why some are poor”; religion and economics will have different explanation for it. The only difference is that religion sets up a list of do’s and don’t and wants every one to adhere to it for a better world. Economics is however boring subject and economic ignorance is tolerable.

I conclude from my diagnosis as well as analysis of religious that the key fact remains that by nature the human brain tends to believe, ignore facts and data and remain bias to certain beliefs and we tend to control what we believe should be controlled. The logical analysis, rationalizing, diagnosing, thinking, elimination of bias, detecting deceptions, etc are not what comes to the human mind naturally but we have to train our brains to do it.  To be honest most of us have untrained brained which is wild and yet to be tamed.

Sources:

http://youtu.be/lnMkHB0vNCE

http://mises.org/books/socialism/part4_ch29.aspx

Observation on Indian history and Historians

My reading of historical accounts of India in my attempts to understand its past and present, has made few things clear.

  • There is a great degree of cognitive biases and confirmation biases. Both Indian and Outside accounts are full of fallacies.
  • Historians have failed to see that events that took place in history are complex phenomenon. The events were results of multiple elements contributing to it. A mere collection and arrangement of facts doesn’t lead to correct interpretation of the account. Hence the approach of the historians to interpret history is absolutely wrong.
  • Most of the historical evidence and records are lost in time. Thus no firm grounding can be made by mere examination of artifacts and narratives.
  • Politicization of entire history. Misquoting people, out of context references, partial references, forced correlation of unrelated events, unscientific claims on scientific methodology, etc are the reasons we are unable to extract  the actual causes and any learning.
  • Human actions, our behavior and laws of nature are consistent over time. Evolutionary changes of human beings generally spans over thousands or hundreds of thousands of years.  Hence it plays a very little part in interpreting historical accounts of a shorter time period. The theory which governs human society today can be applied to understand our past as well as allow us to predict the outcome of present actions in our future.

I must quote Ludwig Von Mises to conclude my point

History speaks only to those people who know how to interpret it.

A small critique of Swami Vivekananda

I consider Swami Vivekananda, a political ideology revivalist rather than someone who enriched philosophy. This is my personal view and it comes from my perspective. The projection and glorification of few of his philosophical teachings urged me to examine them a little bit more. Will his teachings and philosophy really solve the problems of human society? It is beyond my scope and interest to examine each and every work of his but here is one article which I was reading: http://www.globalpolitician.com/print.asp?id=7210

Here is what I understand it.

“In Buddha we had the great, universal heart and infinite patience, making religion practical and bringing it to everyone’s door. In Shankaracharaya we saw tremendous intellectual power, throwing the scorching light of reason upon everything. We want today that bright sum of intellectuality joined with the heart of Buddha, the wonderful infinite heart of love and mercy. The union will give us the highest philosophy. Science and religion will meet and shake hands. Poetry and philosophy will become friends…”

In other words a simple propaganda of two religions. Almost all of us understand love and mercy. But there are some absolutely apathetic, without any mercy or love in their personality. Reasoning and emotions do not mix, they interfere with each other. Do we not know how under influence of emotions we have given up on reasoning? Reasoning is valueless and without bias. Therefore reasoning can only show what may be the consequences of a particular action or the cause. Emotion can make you over see the cause and make you bias. Poetry and philosophy are two different things. Wisdom is used to derive set of hypothesis. Hypothesis are not absolute. Hypothesis can be refuted Empirical cannot be refuted. Prose and poetry is literary. Literary requires wisdom but doesn’t give birth to wisdom. I wonder what hypothetical result can you get by writing theory as poetry. Leave the poet and the philosopher alone.

“The Vedanta recognizes no sin, it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta, is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that.”

Again nothing but political talk. If a person commits a crime.. will it be sin or an error? Suppose a man stationed at out nearest nuclear reactor commits an error and the entire regions life is wiped out.. shall we consider that man a sinner or just and error? Should we expect remorse from that man who committed the error? I think we all know that the about chant of greatest error doesn’t blend in too well.

“As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God.”

Doesn’t hold for the one who doesn’t have the concept of supernatural. Best left to the mind with the rigid belief and emotional system to interpret this. Different streams has flows in different geography but have the same dynamics. When it comes to god and his words, each definition and description of “god” is different. These definitions for example if the god has form or formless simply shows a contradiction which cannot be fused. Empirical evidence shows it has not fused and attempts to fuse didn’t lead to cooperation and peaceful coexistence.

“The Atman [self] emerges as the most important concept in the philosophy of the Vedanta. In the Kothopnishad [hymn-20] is has been glorified as the greatest of the great. The purpose behind this glorification is for humans to acquire ability and power, to encompass and realize his duties and responsibilities to achieve the most important goal in life; to make him perceive clarity and truth, and through this to develop the spirit of universalism in him so that the pathway of universal welfare could transform into reality. Isavasya Upanishad’s stress that “the person who indeed clearly perceives all creatures and objects in the Atman [soul] only, and accepts in all creatures and objects the [presence of] Atman [soul], he does not wish or want concealment”, could be observed in this very perspective.”

Man doesn’t have any duties. Binding a new born to so called duties and responsibilities, which he may not find acceptable when he reaches the age of reason, is simply slavery. Man is free to renounce what he doesn’t accept or find to be in his self interest. Man has the capability to reason. The ability to reason differs from individuals to individual. The individual acts and gets consequences of his actions. This is universal law of nature which cannot be bend by assigning duties and responsibilities. Man and animal are two different entities who has different rights. An doesn’t recognize the mans right. Man has compassion and the ability to understand rights of each other. But this doesn’t give animals the equal rights that of a man. Man must recognize this fact first that rights exists only between those who has the natural ability to recognize it. Then he can rationalize his actions to consume animal products or not; to domesticate animals for laborious tasks or not, etc. Most men has compassion and will remain compassionate towards other living beings. Those who lack compassion towards animals cannot be turned into a compassionate man by assigning duties and responsibilities on him. Such men cannot be stopped from harming animals by laws. But as man and animal do not share the same rights we cannot rationalize it or stop him from doing what nature has made him capable to do.  Thus it will be necessary for us to recognize that animals and plants must be treated as claimed or unclaimed property. If a man buys a goat, it becomes his property. What he does with the goat remains entirely his business. If a man finds an untamed animal, adopts him and domesticates him or able to trap an animal, it then becomes his property. Such ownership claims has to be established and only then man and animal can coexist in harmony.

The Kothopnishad Hymn as well as Swami Vivekananda is not completely incorrect when they talk about the glorification of the soul. In fact we must recognize the self and self interest. I would like to shift the soul to the self and reconstruct the philosophy (not doctrine).

One must recognize the self and self interests to be able to take decisions. Once we start rationalizing and reasoning things from the self’s perspective,  then only we can understand our actions and try to find out what will be the consequences of our action. Remember that the choice to act with respect to consequences of that action is independent of compassionate or not to be compassionate. For example if a person knows that if he tortures animals he will be condemned by his friends and family members then even if that individual who is not compassionate towards animals will reconsider his actions before doing it.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: My views on absurd Liberals and so called Fake Libertarians

Hey folks.

There are many numbers of people claiming themselves to be liberals and libertarians. They present themselves to be the liberator of people from tyranny, honest, intellectuals, capable, brave and bold individuals who can take a strong stand in defence of liberty. It’s a myth that all of them even if they call themselves so, become a torch bearer of liberty.

Being fascinated by the philosophy of Liberty, Equality and Free Market Capitalism especially “Classical Liberalism” they tend to jump in to confuse themselves and others without really examining the concepts or understanding them.

Loosely speaking liberalism has been founded on the ideas of liberty and equality. ‘By definition’, Maurice Cranston rightly points out, ‘a liberal is a man who believes in liberty’ (1967: 459). In two different ways, liberal accord liberty primacy as a political value. (i) Liberals have typically maintained that humans are naturally in ‘a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions… as they think fit… without asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Man’.

Classical Liberalism revolves around the degree of liberty and rights an individual possesses. A philosophy founded in the late 18th century in Europe. As there are differences in beliefs, there are different breeds of Classical Liberals. One must now question how do these classical liberals arrive at different conclusions on how much liberty are they willing to offer to individuals and why they differ. On rating scale the range of liberty must be in between zero liberty to absolute liberty. One must start questioning these liberals and libertarians on accounts of their measurement of the amount of liberty they believe in and their consistency on various conditions. One must question them why and what happens when an individual is given more liberty than they think it ought to be the limit. They seldom give a proper answer to that.

The so called liberals and libertarians will talk about freedom, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness all the time. Before it became “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of American Independence, John Locke wrote that man has a right to “life, liberty, and property” and that is what it is.

Now what is “Life, Liberty and Property” supposed to mean? Does “Life” mean in medical science or the anti-abortion movement or anti-death penalty movements, etc or does it mean everything that attributes and can be related to the word and the meaning of life? Does it not sound funny when a liberal or a libertarian justifies anti-abortion bill but supports the wars in which innocent civilians of all ages, born unborn are bombed? On one hand they will support sexual liberation of women and other hand they will bar her from deciding if she can terminate her pregnancy. How do their arguments on the justification of importance to life coincide with two contrasting situations of these scenarios?

Let’s now get into the Liberty part: We know that liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life. This is where the Isiah Berlin’s concept of two liberties comes in.

Isaiah Berlin advocated a negative conception of liberty:

I am normally said to be free to the degree to which no man or body of men interferes with my activity. Political liberty in this sense is simply the area within which a man can act unobstructed by others. If I am prevented by others from doing what I could otherwise do, I am to that degree unfree; and if this area is contracted by other men beyond a certain minimum, I can be described as being coerced, or, it may be, enslaved. Coercion is not, however, a term that covers every form of inability. If I say that I am unable to jump more than ten feet in the air, or cannot read because I am blind… it would be eccentric to say that I am to that degree enslaved or coerced. Coercion implies the deliberate interference of other human beings within the area in which I could otherwise act. You lack political liberty or freedom only if you are prevented from attaining a goal by other human beings (Berlin, 1969: 122).

For Berlin and those who follow him, then, the heart of liberty is the absence of coercion by others; consequently, the liberal state’s commitment to protecting liberty is, essentially, the job of ensuring that citizens do not coerce each other without compelling justification. So understood, negative liberty is an opportunity-concept. Being free is merely a matter of what we can do, what options are open to us, regardless of whether or not we exercise such options (Taylor, 1979).

Most liberals and libertarians would go all day ranting about the necessity of “absence of coercion by others” but then they will come up with a list of a thousand scenarios where they want to prevent you from attending your goals without harming any other individual. For example they believe that under circumstances like war it is justified to coerce individuals to fight for the nation, they feel it necessary to force and educate children in schools, they feel it necessary to force money and other resources out of peoples pocket who are anti-war to buy weapons for protection of theirs as well as others. They believe that force can be initiated on any individual if it for some social benefit or public goods. It sounds pretty mild but when a concept called as “social contract” is flung at your face with the name of welfare then you realize the gravity of the situation. Suppose in the name of humanity a liberal government like we see in the USA and Europe enters a war with its neighbouring nation and enforce conscription. Imagine you are the sole child or your parents or a father of a new-born child from a blind wife. There is no doubt that you love your fellow men and your nation, but you find it better to relocate to a safer place for the sake of your family. In other words you hold duties towards your family before your duty to fight wars for your country. Under the philosophy of liberty you are entitled to take such decisions. But you would find most liberals and libertarians wouldn’t agree that you have so called rights where you can refute a social contract and you are justified in doing so. Such liberals and libertarians call for increasing troops, interventionist foreign policies, supports militarism and conscription if necessary. However they in the same breath will hold that society constitutes of individuals and individuals are free to make and follow their own decisions. This is another paradox of theirs masked under the name of social contract.

Property: For most ‘Property’ is understood only as land and buildings if they are owned by private individuals or group or by public. However it can also be more accurately defined as something tangible or intangible to which its owner has exclusive rights on what they possess to do whatever they please to do with it. How the individual utilize their properties should be free from intervention until and unless they are not violating property rights of anyone else property rights. Property rights are essential to define justice and rationalize arguments. They must be fact based or result based judgement rather than “value based judgements”. Every human action yields a result. These results are relative to different individuals in different ways as per their “value” assessment.  Suppose there are two individuals who entered holy matrimony.. Does this give them rights over each other’s bodies and life? If we look at our present society and its law.. It tends to do so in many instances. For example in India.. It is legal to marital rape of a wife if they are not separated. This law implies and considers the use of force justified for the so called legal husband to violate the private property.. That is the body of his spouse for his physical needs under the protection of the state. If I ask these so called fake liberals and libertarians they normally support such violations under the social contract. They justify that post marriage two individuals become one and that is the contract between them. Assuming this is true I wonder if I am the husband and my wife’s body is mine as per the contract of marriage then I can commit half a suicide by killing half part of my body which belongs to my wife. As we see the latter is an absurd and immoral argument. This is a violation of private property rights so was the former. These so called liberals and fake libertarians has utter disregard for property rights. You’ll find that they choose sides to justify the role of governments and its actions which suits their needs.

Libertarians are those who understand and take into account the natural laws from which the property rights are derived and hence a real libertarian will not be suggesting gender biased laws. Such laws and hype create gender differences. Across the globe.. Divorce laws are stacked against men as a general rule of the thumb.

Now having given you a minor insight into these absurd justifications on property rights it is essential to blast off some of the views that they hold on equality and democracy.

Respectfully, we must ask these liberals and libertarians what is it that they mean when they mean by equality? Does equality mean everyone should undergo genetic engineering and clone themselves as one another so that they are equal? Well.. Science tells us even with the exact biology or behaviour will not be same. The other question one must ask if we decide to clone every human being to be identical then probably we would decide it should be the smartest man ever. The contender to this theory would make Albert Einstein stand out as an exception. It would seem to genetically modify every new birth so that everyone is as smart as Albert Einstein. However when you’ll be carving for a cup of coffee or may require a maid to do the household work there will be a conflict as why should I do it as I am as good as you. This puts a serious concern on division of labour and individual interests.  Why and how shall we decide which Einstein should solve complex math equations and which one should go in the kitchen to serve him coffee?

In another context suppose there is a lady who gives birth to twins and one of the babies has polio.. The only way to make them equal is to infect another one with polio or whatever excess he produces is taken away from him to balance out his underprivileged brother. In this example we see a conflict of value judgements if it is moral to impose on the healthier brother to keep the not so healthier restricted brother by polio to live up to the same standards. Such crucial questions give rise to politics and split into groups of special interests. We know that if the healthier brother is restricted by force to help out his unlucky brother.. That might breed hatred in him and might deter him from using his unknown potential to limit due to emotional factors. These absurd liberals and libertarians won’t be able to explain real life examples like these.

Compassion is a human nature. We know from history that a rich Prince called Siddhartha become Mahatma Budh or Gautam Buddha by his own will. Same example of an emperor called Ashoka. Alexander the Great who desired to rule the world gave back Porus his kingdom. Such example shows that good deeds are voluntary in nature and exists between classes. Hence there is no need for coercion. These examples are not rare but seen in day to day life across centuries. The question that most ask is how do we help those who are deprived of basic property rights to make their lives better? Such examples will be Bill Gates, Warren Buffet who wrote off their wealth which they acquired by trade and not coercion with those who needed it the most.

These fake libertarians would celebrate and quote such examples and in the same breath talk about why government should tax such wealthy people to achieve equality in our society. I always ask myself how does pulling someone who has achieved more than me down to my level serve humanity.

The other thing you’ll hear from them is democracy. Democracy simply means that if the majority wants their way.. The minority must accept with no regards to the outcome of those actions. This is the purest form of democracy and also called as direct democracy. Its simply mob rule or mobocracy and a mild version of communism. They can never explain why one in a billion can be correct in their assessment of what must be done to meet certain ends, which the billion others have failed to achieve so far. For example in Indian context.. Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent civil disobedience movement was considered stupid by both the Indian national congress and the British government until they felt the effects of it. This mean to meet the end which was freedom from imperial power was only achieved by one in billion Indian’s namely Gandhi. The Liberal Party of India, Indian National Congress, etc. were planning other means which may have never resulted in meeting the ends which India was seeking. The failure of violent revolt made it evident that violence is not the only mean to reach freedom.

Democracy doesn’t align in any form whatsoever with individual liberty nor can a mob match the capability of that of an individual.

The so called absurd Liberals and fake Libertarians will emphasis on democracy and will talk about the limited role of government, constitution, strong laws, strong policies etc. These words are pleasing to hear and on examination they would propose the same set of rules with a change of clause here and there. We have seen no government ever in history limited and bound to the constitution. We have seen no government ever which efficiently protects people’s life, liberty and property.  In fact governments’ ability in these so called limited roles of policing, providing defence and delivering justice is questionable in itself. Police harassment, police brutality, tyranny by military, rising crime, increasing violence, etc shows the extent to which government has failed even in these roles. Judges are passing verdicts which are perverted and senseless. Thousands of innocent men and women caged up in jails without trial. When their innocence is proved the only compensation they get is a little sum of money from the government. However if an individual commits a grave mistake chances are that he might be hanging from the noose. The government has zero defence capability as you can that they cannot protect you from any form of attack by other nations or terrorists. They cannot even manage the border as we see with the rising number of immigrants without proper documentations who manage to sneak through. These are mostly poor people from poor neighbouring nation, who cross over in search of livelihood. Mostly such immigrant problem you’ll find where there is a powerful nation, capable to dominate, threaten and destroy the economy of its neighbours. The military is however good at aggression, forever eager to go at war: to murder, plunder, rape and pillage.

Let’s look at such liberals and libertarians in India and if they even qualify as someone who is a vanguard of freedom or yet another one of these fascist socialist democrats nitwits who suddenly feels freedom is a good thing.. But hey, not too much.

Most of our Indian liberals and so called libertarians are in a strong welfare state. In the same breath they never cease to criticize government failures on the provision of welfare. They quote over and over again those intellectuals who proved it why welfare is a bad thing.  For gaining sentiments they would speak like most right wingers about the golden Indian era and also the liberal attitude of the British Government which benefited India. Most of them assume that Mahatma Gandhi was a true libertarian. Fundamentally and technically if you compare their views with the philosophies of classical liberalism and those of libertarians, they are way apart. Mahatma Gandhi comes close to preaching and practicing many of these noble teachings and way of life which lies in those libertarian philosophies. A real libertarian has never proposed democracy. Mahatma Gandhi did propose democracy and was faced with a dilemma on how to avoid the use of coercive force. He also created a cult called Gandhism which limited individual liberties of many people who may have followed a life they preferred.

The current Indian liberals worry me as they misinform and misguide the people. The rights to this and the right to that.. is another means to gain control and popularity of those who are unaware.

If you examine the views of the following groups and individuals, you would find that they do not believe in absolute freedom to individual but have their own version of mild socialism.

Political parties

This is a list of both past and present political parties with liberal views.

  • National Liberal Federation of India
  • Swatantra Party
  • Swatantra Bharat Party
  • Liberal Party of India
  • Swatantra Gokhale Party
  • Lok Satta Party

Other liberal organizations

  • Centre for Civil Society
  • Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
  • Freedom First
  • Freedom Team of India
  • India Policy Institute
  • Indian Liberal Group
  • Janaagraha
  • Liberty Institute
  • Manushi
  • Praja Foundation
  • Shetkari Sangathana

Prominent Indian Liberals

Pre-Independence

  • Raja Ram Mohun Roy
  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale
  • Gandhi

Swatantra Party

  • C. Rajagopalachari a.k.a. Rajaji
  • Minoo Masani
  • B.R. Shenoy

Swatantra Bharat Party

  • Sharad Joshi

Liberal Party of India

  • Sanjeev Sabhlok
  • Gurcharan Das

Lok Satta Party

  • Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan

Contemporary Indian Liberals

  • Jagdish Bhagwati
  • Deepak Lal
  • Parth J. Shah, Founder President, Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi.
  • Madhu Kishwar, Founder, Manushi
  • S.V. Raju, President, Indian Liberal Group
  • Surjeet Bhalla
  • Shekhar Gupta

The liberal organizations are special interest groups which are interested in using the government for interest of certain groups of people or region. Liberate the farmers, liberate the backward classes, liberate women etc. They are talking about minority rights under democratic framework, a kind of reservation at the expense and cost of under group. Totally inconsistent with the philosophy of liberty and hence they cannot be termed liberals at all. The rest of the organization who were a part of the government at some point of their life and still wish to use government power to force people into freedom that they deem fit. In other words “You are free to do as we ask you to do”. This again as you see is not freedom but a dictatorship. The other liberal organizations are mere training institutes earning money from aspirant policy makers who wish to better themselves, IAS students, journalists and those who wish to learn how to exploit and expropriate by sweet talks by selling the illusion of freedom which they don’t really believe in themselves.

I would choose one such political party to put across my point and you’ll see the inconsistencies with liberalism and freedom. I choose this party probably because this is currently the most prominent one. Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has his own outfit called the Lok Satta (People’s Rule). Every objective of the party deals with Socialist ideas of welfare like free education, free health care, farmers’ schemes, subsidies, government projects, regulations etc. All political parties make such claims and eager to prove that one is better than the other. All of these costs money which they will force others to pay. On one hand he talks of removing license, quota and permit raj and on the other he talks about strong regulatory policies, tax on windfall profits etc. I heard Dr. JP completely disregards an individual the right to profit from the property they possess. In one of his interviews where he suggested tax on windfall profits because he feels that its accidental profit and not profit from labor. I think next on his list will be inheritance tax which also has similar mechanics of profiting the heir who did nothing more than acquiring wealth of another individual who passed it on to him.  Is this not something we hear from the Nazi’s and Communists? No wonder he saw nothing wrong to join hands with the communist party last year for fighting elections. When did expropriation and extortion become a part of liberty? He also wants the prices to be set by farmers and not by the market. This is again a special interest coercion where valuation of goods and unscientific as it disregards cost accounting completely and the price determination mechanism. Prices are only determined by the free market which he talks about. Does he not know why prices are important? How does he then propose price determined by one single entity called the farmers or the government? Next he wants a ban on alcohol. How does banning alcohol promote liberty? With the recent on-going trend of fighting corruption and injustice by misuse of government power, he decided to join the bandwagon of popularity. Taxation is a form of expropriation and hence theft. Followers of liberty will only ask for voluntary donations for welfare and never propose exploitation by expropriation. They will never talk about taxing the rich. This is how socialists and communists talk and it’s their philosophy not that of a liberal or a libertarian. His plans are to increase and efficiently deliver goods from public finance. We all know no one spends public finances the way they would carry out welfare from finances put from their own pockets or by the Herculean efforts of raising donations against the quality of welfare service that they have provided. They talk against the evils of inflation and wish to infuse the huge stack of  so called black money which they want to acquire as soon as they get into power. How different will be the effects of such actions and different from that of inflating the economy is something they don’t talk off. They talk about Government officials taking bribes. They know that government officials are in an absolute position to misuse their power. Hence it is essential to destroy monopolistic absolute power and strong government with increased power doesn’t end corruption. They also support subsidies and tax holiday which again is in contrast with free market economics. These people talk against the current economic system and never fail to present fantasy land absurd Keynesian economic terms like GDP. Folks.. if your house is demolished and rebuilt the GDP will show an increase. This increase doesn’t necessarily mean progress but can also mean moving forward to the same point after being pushed back. These views of such parties are no different from all other socialist parties currently present in India.

To sum it up they support and worship democracy is not same as a voluntary society. Democracy gives rise to hegemonic society instead of a voluntary society where individual liberty is the epicentre. Absurd liberals and fake libertarians supports strong governments, numerous laws and policies interfering with everything that present system does but can never rationalize a proper reasoning why that power cannot be misused. They talk about freedom but are not ready to offer absolute individual liberty. They talk about decentralization of government power but never explain how it can be done without ending the monopoly of the government. They talk about removing corruption and corrupt people but they never explain how they would do so when they want powerful policies and regulations. They talk about life, liberty and property but ever ready to compromise them under the name of social contract.

These absurd liberals and fake libertarians are people with double standard and have nothing to do with liberty or freedom at all. They are dishonest as they talk something else and do something else. Beware of these wolves who are more dangerous than those who openly show where their interests lies and act as per their interest even if they are anti-liberal in nature, probably immoral too. And it’s not just the Lok Satta party but almost all of them.

The only liberals and libertarians who are for real are those who believe in absolute freedom and liberty. Those who understands that its not his business to interfere with life, liberty and property of other individuals who have not harmed or threatened his life, liberty and property. Man is a social animal and there will be interdependency and exchanges between different individuals. Those exchanges will be between them and hence no third party needs to intervene until and unless they are called in to do so by them.

The only person who cares for you and looks after you is your individual self. And you must be allowed to do so. You don’t need governments and other organizations coercing you into their welfare care system. We can take care of one another in absolute nonviolent cooperation amongst each other voluntarily.

These absurd liberals and libertarians are nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothes and gives liberty a bad name.

For learning more about philosophies of life, liberty and property I suggest joining Indian Libertarians at www.indianlibertarians.org .

Wish you all a happy life, enjoy your liberties, fruits of your property and safeguard it.

Views on Arvind Kejriwal’s vision

Hey folks,

I am writing after a long time on this blog. I trust you all been doing great.

This post is not meant to be a political showdown or Arvind Kejriwal bashing. His views are exactly how “Aam Aadmi” feels and thinks. I have no problems with that and I understand that these thoughts are natural to come. Its good that we talk about them without getting into any judgement of Arvind Kejriwal or what is he up to but more towards the proposals which some of us finds great and some of us don’t.

The vision document of Kejriwal’s party says:

1. Lokpal Bill will be brought in within 10 days of the party being voted to power.

The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.

— Friedrich von Hayek

First and foremost question that we must ask ourselves are what is a bill and why do we need one. Let’s assume the present situation where corruption is rampant in all aspects of this society be it moral or financial there is a need to rectify it. Since the origin of governments of any to every form present, there is an obsession with rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are formed by a group of intellectuals under a certain leadership, drafted as bills or policies and passed via legislation of some kind. It is in our nature that we believe that rules and laws are required and they serve to regulate different forms of evil and essential to keep a man morally upright. Over the years this belief has made us to create thousands of rules and pass hundreds of policies with only one noble intention in mind and that was to curb and eliminate evil. Bills were carefully drafted, debated and revised over time. When one didn’t work we amended them with further clauses or scrapped them to form a new one of a different kind. With the growing size of government power in our daily lives we also found that there was a rise in the new menace called as corruption. Lokpal Bill is another such design which intents to bring it down.

To make the long story short and also to help myself excuse from getting into the details of  such planned designs fails, I would highlight some things from history. Long time ago we created courts and police with policies to ensure that right men were given power and framework to maintain law and order. We carefully made all the job requisites and standard operation procedures to enable the hired officers stay in conduct and carry out their duties. Over a period of time we found the cracks in the system and we filled up more details to cement those cracks and curb the leak. Prior to Lokpal Bill we had passed “THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPTION ACT, 1988″. That bill should have given governments and people more power to curb corruption. However it didn’t work. As in every society and all era’s you’ll see a few individuals rising up in these attacking the cracks and failures of the existing policies and suggesting more cement to be filled in to sort out the problem. Lokpal Bill is yet another attempt which no one knows for sure that it will work and not have other harmful side effects like all of our previous bills and policies.

What started out as cementing a cracked brick has now become a huge concrete block with a crack just like the brick had. And now we need more cement to sort it out.

It is hence not wrong and nor foolish to question our obsessions with laws, bills, politicians, regulations, intellectuals and policies.. If they will work now when they have never worked anywhere any time in history.

The solution maybe isn’t there in creating laws and rules. May be they don’t work and we must stop making one after another. May be there is altogether a different way.

These are some questions I leave you to ponder with in case you want to.
2. People will decide the price of essential commodities.

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.

— Thomas Sowell

This is true. Before addressing the point presented to us here we must examine how are prices determined? Prices are normally determined by individuals who exchange goods and services between one another. These goods and services are definitely scarce or limited, has a certain utility for the individual who wants to procure them, a certain amount of labor is needed to produce them and perhaps their shelf life is time bound. For every individual every goods and services have different valuation of the utility that good or service serves. Depending on how critical that utilization is at that particular point of time the individual determines what should be the price of that valuable good or service which he must procure by exchanging something of value against that procurement.

This should now bring us to the term ‘essential’. What is priceless to me can be worthless to you. For example I am diabetic and consumption of sugar is poison to me but not for you. I will not be trading anything to purchase sugar as it’s not essential to me at all. For you sugar is entirely different and essential to your survival and hence it holds value. In the free market there will be entrepreneurs who will identify this need of sugar and will engage themselves in the production of sugar. This production of sugar requires the entrepreneur to put a part of his limited life putting his labor to farm the sugar. Also the entrepreneurs tools and machinery depreciates in value for production of sugar. Remember that even the land loses its fertility over time and we cannot expect that it should remain fertile always or we can use chemicals to bypass this limit put across by nature itself.  We know that mother nature at times has its own plans and there is no way we can guarantee that exactly how much amount of sugar will be produced from that harvest. Thus I feel its safe to say we cannot ask mother earth by the policy number so and so you were not suppose to have your own plans and I as the government must imprison you for your evil deeds.

Now that we know from above that production of sugar is not free and is determined on several factors like the labor rates, interest paid on procurement of tools and machinery, depreciation and also the buffer hedge capital to insure from risks that may not be foreseen. The entrepreneur always seeks a premium against the risks he has taken over time to produce goods or provide services which is rightfully his to demand. This is all part of cost accounting and absolutely essential for all of us. Also remember that in the free market anyone and everyone can get into production of sugar anywhere in the world and sell anywhere in the world where there are individuals willing to pay the price which entrepreneurs find essential as per their cost accounting. Each of this entrepreneur is aware of their risks and competition that is present in the market. And hence they will innovate to provide the goods and services at better prices than other entrepreneurs.

Till now we have seen this from the producer’s perspective but what about the consumers to whom it is vital for their survival at least? This is absolutely true that we need a certain amount of sugar to stay alive but is it the only reason do we consume it? The consumers sure consume sugar for several other reasons other than simple survival needs. This consumption is luxurious consumptions and there is a demand for sugar for enjoying such luxuries of life. This forms another band of demand for sugar depending on how much sugar is available to procure and how much is the individual willing to pay for it. For someone who wants their bath water to be sweet and afford to have such luxuries will do so out of their free will.
As discussed earlier that mother nature may strike any point of time and there will be many risks taking entrepreneurs who will suffer loss of crop and hence will have nothing to exchange to procure goods for their survival. This is vitally important to understand why entrepreneurs have to seek a premium for the risks they carry and why it is justified to do so. The farmers who commit suicide every year may be due to the fact that they were barred from a proper premium to safeguard their lives against such risks. Also the crop failure will make sugar more scarce. When certain essential commodity is suddenly scarce for our consumptions it makes it more valuable to us isn’t it? When it is more valuable we are willing to pay more price for it. However we all have limited amount of capital to exchange against sugar which is essential for survival but is now in limited quantities and its price has gone up as well. This is the time we check our luxury utilization and see if we can bath with normal water instead of sugared water. No one likes to change our habits and compromise on the luxuries of life but as the situation forces us to do now we must reshuffle our priorities. The price rise as we see now forces the demand curve to go down. As the demand curve goes with our luxury utilization of sugar to essential consumption of sugar, the premium charged by the producers also starts to fall as they cannot hoard sugar forever and there is a cost against it as well. Suppose the crisis is grave and producers keep hoarding and even the essential consumption price demanded by the producers are high. This will force consumers to seek goods from external markets rather than their local markets where the price is unreasonable. Now I know for the sake of argument someone would say that why would someone from the external market sell when they know that there is a crisis. Well they know there is a crisis and they know that they’ll be getting a better premium than their local consumers but they have to keep it below the price that the local producers are asking. These behavior balances out the prices and this is how prices are determined in the free market.

Let’s say we want to fix the price of sugar to Rs X/KG or limit it to X KG/Person.  Now how will we keep the prices fixed to balance out our luxuries to the will and wish of mother nature. This is a question I ask myself to which I have no answers and I could never do cost accounting or address the fact that what will happen when I know that I don’t have enough sugar to feed every mouth.
3. Any person can lodge a complaint against any leader with the Lokpal.

Why go to the lokpal why not to the police and file a case in the court? I foresee that the common man will run between the three pillars instead of two and political points will be scored by misusing the power that lokpal carries. It will go the same way as every noble intended position has been corrupted into the present.

4. No beacons on cars of any MPs or MLAs.

A beacon is simply a status symbol and nothing else to me. I have seen ambulances stuck in traffic with their beacon blasting and yelling.. Nothing happened. This is another political statement of ego’s and they will fight over it. I don’t see how anything can be changed if an MP car has a beacon or not have a beacon?

5. All expenditure and fund details to be posted on the party’s website.

What difference will it make to the common man if Arvind Kejriwal says he spent only Rs 10 and someone like King Ashoka says he spent Rs 10000000 over election advertisement and propaganda? What is the obsession with money anyway over deeds and actions? King Ashoka was no doubt a very rich man with a big fat bank account and spent a lot of money on welfare of people. We see Mr. Bill Gates do so. But based only on amount of money in a persons  bank account can we say that he was a bad person? I mean Surender Koli the serial murderer from Noida sure has less money than Vijay Mallaya.

Moreover EC has such rules which makes it mandatory for people contesting elections to declare their wealth. No political party seems to be spending a huge amount from their books of account presently. Which shows that account books can be false and rigged but acceptable to the government regulatory officials. And even if they did people would still vote on their self interest or religious loyalty towards a political organization.

6. All colonial laws on land acquisition to be abolished.

Well all land belongs to the government of India anyway. If you are talking about private property rights and theft in the name of the property tax, mineral right laws then I’ll be interested.

7. Right to Reject and Right to Recall.

Is it necessary to have someone elected? Why can we not have a right to pay taxes or not to pay taxes? After all government officials get salary from our taxes. Let’s make it this way.. For every designated government official let there be a salary box. If the officer does a good job.. His salary in the donation box will be great.. If the officer sleeps whole day in his office.. then I wonder who will he be able to lure and put some coins in his salary donation box.

Right to Reject and Right to Recall may bring a daily disruption into our lives. The priority of the government officer will no longer be to provide service but to save his chair and hold on to office as long as possible. As his tenure period will be uncertain.. he will be interested in looting as much as possible.. as soon as possible. And if every official gets elected and rejected everyday.. how much administration do we imagine we are growing to bring into our lives?

8. A maximum of 2 years to act on any case of corruption.

An utter disregard to complexity of the case.  I imagine that a person is undergoing a heart surgery and there is a hospital management rule that no surgeries must take more than one hour or you are fired. I imagine how complex cases will be accepted for surgeries in that case and not rejected as having a normal condition.

9. Everyone will be provided with good education and good healthcare services.

What is good education and good health care services? Lets take everyone and make them Albert Einstein.. The next day you’ll have all mathematical equations and new discoveries and nothing to eat as there will be no one to grow food, milk cows, bake breads etc. What if Albert Einstein is running his own school.. we know there will be not many as smart as him.. so should we order him to dumb down his teaching skills to that of Professor Sheik Chilly so that everyone gets the same quality of good education? Or shall we make it mandatory that Professor Einstein has to teach everyone in this country so that everyone has the same level of good education.. I wonder how many lifetimes will it take for him to teach his first chapter in theory of relativity to everyone in India. Doesn’t work this way mate.

10. Farmers will be given good price for their produce.

The government is in control of prices of every goods, services and commodities directly or implicitly.

11. People will have the right to participate in the formulation of laws and government’s policies.

This is for those who believe in mob rule. When Hitler suggested that he’ll exterminate the jews.. majority of people were in favor of it. Majority of American’s feel great about bombing of other countries that it does. Majority of people in England were happy that India was enslaved by them.

Sounds great intentionally but dangerous practice practically.
12. No government money will be used in any area without the will of the people.

There is nothing called as government money in the first place ok? All the money that government has is either by printing it out of thin air and destroying the value of rupee and savings of the people, taxing the citizens or destroying the entrepreneur class or by taking debts from other countries. There is no magic wand with the government that it can produce money and change everything. What we are trying to say here is that government shouldn’t waste other peoples money but let every other person decide what they want to do with other persons money. I am sure everyone would love to spend the government money on buying iPhones and sneakers that make sounds while walking.

I will be discussing more on Indian Libertarians site rather than my this occasional personal blog:

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